How my railroad interests moved from the Pacific Northwest to Southern New South Wales .....with a stop over in Southern California

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

July already???

I'm Back....for my seemingly semi-annual update.

Non- layout wise....I'm 10 months in to my return as a union Train Dispatcher and have enjoyed every minute of it (as much as one can enjoy working).  I am handling 3rd trick (nights) on the Centralia North desk of the Northwest Division.  This job basically handles 40 miles either side of Tacoma Washington and can vary in traffic from 8-10 trains up to 20+ during my 8 hour shift. 
My job happens to be one that's live streamed online...anyone interested in listening can go to:   
I work Tuesdays thru Saturdays  2230 - 0630 U.S. Central time

Two other personal items so far in 2013 were my June wedding to my long time (over 20 years) partner Emily: 

Think it might last!

and on a less happier note, the removal of a low grade bladder tumor in April that had me off my feet for far too long!

but I'm back to normal and have actually accomplished a good bit on the railroad in the past couple of months.

I'd been stalled due to being intimidated by building TWO helixes, but I finally broke down and tackled the first one, which will connect the 2 levels representing the NSW standard gauge line from Narrandera to Tocumwal.  I found a "how to" video on YouTube and here is the result:

It raises the track 16 3/4 inches in 5 turns of 27" radius.  The VR T class peeking out at center right is where the main line will enter.

Here's how it fits in with the different levels:

The lower level comes from Narrandera around the peninsula to the right and the standard gauge will exit on the middle level around the peninsula to the right to end up at Tocumwal.  The VR broad gauge will be on the upper level and will cross the back wall above the helix to staging to the left of the photo.

On the other side of the peninsula, I got the urge to lay some track and put down the southern New South Wales station of Jerilderie:

It's a fair representation of the actual location (Tocumwal is to the left, above):

Here's an overview of Jerilderie's location in the grand scheme of things:

Jerilderie is on the lower left...with Narrandera and the NSW staging area on the lower level at the right.  Above Jerilderie is a cross country section of the NSW Standard Gauge line that leads to Standard gauge/broad gauge interchange at Tocumwal, which will be on the middle level at the right.  

Behind the camera to the right will be the 2nd Helix which will take the VR broad gauge line from Tocumwal up to Shepparton on the upper level right and Maroopna on the upper level left.

It's been an interesting and somewhat busy year so far, but I'm fairly pleased with the progress the railroad is making.  

I'm thinking I will lay the Standard gauge line next and get it operating before I tackle the 2nd helix and the VR line.    

Subject to Change.......stay tuned!


  1. G'day Lance,

    Congratulations to both Emily and yourself.

    It's good to see the layout progressing. The helix looks really good.

    It was great to meet you and Emily while we were in Texas. Danielle and I had a great time. I am missing those great steaks and mountains of food. Hopefully I can get back there one of these days on another Bell course.

    All the best,


  2. Wow, you have been busy !
    Looking really good Lance. You've left me eating dust as far as progress goes. I hit a patch of modellers block getting from one level to the next but have pushed through it and hope to post some pics soon.
    Congrats to you and Emily, glad you didn't rush into things ;-) Also glad you had a good result health wise to.

  3. Lance
    Well done all round, it would be nice to meet Emily one day but Chris won't be going anywhere for at least a year so you will just have to bring Emily down under next time, ;-)..

    Ray P

  4. Lance,
    after a long period of quite, I thought you might of abandoned your Aussie dream layout.
    I'm taking a leaf out of your book, my blog has a few Victorian locos creeping in. Watch that space.
    Congratulations on your wedding. 20 years is a long engagement.
    Keep the updates coming

  5. Bobby July 21,2013 at 0300

    I must say this is they say if you are a model railroader we never complete one layout before our mind changes to a new design.I still recall your fisrt layout in Vancouver,Wa.Tell Emmy to let you complete this one.LOL .I will start on my layout when i retire but what guage????
    Good luck my friend.Got to get back to my Trainmaster duties tonight.